Today's Headlines - Realty Times
Posted On Friday, 12 February 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Monday, 08 February 2021 08:18 Written by
Posted On Saturday, 06 February 2021 23:10

Human beings are meant to be creative. Year after year, entrepreneurs and employees alike are constantly driven to transform the world around them into something new, useful, and impactful in both their careers and personal lives.

One problem we witness too often in society is the treatment of creativity and business innovation as mutually exclusive occurrences. Trust me when I say they are directly connected far more than the average person realizes.

Most notably, older organizations are the ones that place creativity in one column and positive disruptions via innovation in another. The fact that many Americans work for organizations that have been around for many decades makes this divide between creativity and innovation all the more concerning. For example, Citibank started as the City Bank of New York in 1812, making them over 200 years old!

The Test of Time

Older organizations, especially those as old as Citibank, have been through a lot. Some have been through the Great Depression, world wars, the Great Recession of 2007–09, and now, most recently, the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent economic downturn.

This can certainly be viewed as a positive feat: For a company like Citibank to withstand so many outside disruptions, they have to be doing something right! However, for many other older companies, being around for decades and in some cases, centuries, causes them to more quickly protect and defend the status quo. Longevity like that fosters the mindset of “this formula has been working for over a hundred years, why change it now?”

What many don’t realize is that as time has passed and the world has changed, their traditional products and services may continue to sell well, but the margins are much lower and there is much more competition. In turn, the company will blame this stagnation on age—believing that only new and fresh things sell these days—when the reality is the issue is lack of innovation. And why might a company lack innovation? It is because they have deprioritized creativity!

Anticipation Can Aid Creativity

The age of your product, service, culture, and even your employees is not the problem. Corporate culture that has been in existence for a long time can work for you or against you, depending on the key values of that culture. If innovation, creativity, and change are important and these related behaviors are rewarded in some way, then an older organization can do well.

Let’s go back to our example of Citibank, for instance. Disruption of any kind, especially digital disruption and technological change, challenges companies in ways that often send them in two directions: one of agility, which we are all familiar with and only gets us so far, and one of anticipation, in which a company decides to pay attention to the Hard Trends shaping its industry both inside and out, and look to pre-solve future problems to creatively innovate and stay ahead of the curve.

For Citibank, a technological disruption came in 1975 when ATM machines exploded onto the banking scene, allowing individuals to withdraw their own money without the face-to-face contact with a teller needed prior.

Instead of only reacting, Citibank established a research center, which was a very early iteration of what would eventually become its first Innovation Lab in Dublin in 2009. This research center was intended to allocate finances to researching customer behaviors—both with these new machines and how they may behave—as technological advancements continued in the banking industry, up to and including the mobile banking we see today.

Often it takes a crisis to make us step back and rethink our products, services, and even our culture. When Citibank implemented my Anticipatory Organization Model, they took the opportunity to fund creativity by way of Innovation Labs, well aware that establishing a creative safe space such as an Innovation Lab fosters the ability for its team to solve customer problems before they even exist, anticipating customer needs and how they will evolve.

Keeping Your Organization Comfortably Creative

Citibank’s Innovation Labs are sure to keep them ahead of the curve, especially as blockchain technology develops further and disrupts the banking industry yet again, just as mobile deposits and ATMs have in the past.

To maintain a creative company, you must have creative individuals, but as a leader or a manager, you must be aware that, for many, creativity is a private endeavor. Some individuals are afraid of sharing their ideas for fear of judgment, or perhaps they’re afraid that they will not receive the credit they deserve if their idea is implemented.

How do you combat these fears? Citibank has traditionally kept its Innovation Labs separate from its corporate headquarters in an effort to provide a sense of privacy for those who work within said environment to openly create.

Think of how your organization can foster better creativity. Much like tactile art, sometimes it starts with a safe space, free of judgment. But remember, while a creative space and the traditional operations of your organizations can be separate, creativity and innovation cannot, and innovation will ultimately lead to anticipation!



Posted On Wednesday, 10 February 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 11 February 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Wednesday, 10 February 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 09 February 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 09 February 2021 00:00 Written by

The Vice President had an extra black fly in his extra white hair during the debate.  The fly became famous while no one could hear what the VP had to say, so distracting was the insect;

The dog hesitated coming in the house, knowing she had an issue beneath her tail.  Encouraged enough by her unsuspecting yet doting parents to come in, she ran up the steps, leaped on the couch, across the carpet, raced to the bedroom, and sat on the pillow…only to leave behind a streak of poop throughout the home;

The Zoom call was going well, every “Brady Bunch style” video tile filled with engaged co-workers having a great meeting, when suddenly an attendee is clearly seen walking from one room to another, unfortunately straight into the restroom.  Setting the camera in front of herself on the ground, assuming her video is off, she proceeds to go the bathroom in full view of her horrified peers.


How aware are you when the fly lands on your head, dog drags in a fresh tootsie roll, or the Zoom call captures your most private moments?

There is only so much we can do to be aware of everything, but consider your promise to yourself to be aware of what is happening around you – either to yourself or to others.

Perhaps it’s being/having the kind of friend who runs to your aid regarding that piece of salad stuck in your teeth before one more humiliating conversation;

Or the kind of driver that conscientiously scoots all the way over when making a right hand turn to allow traffic a continuous flow, instead of camping in the driving lane, making every car behind to slam on their brakes as a wide, slow, thoughtless right turn is made;

Consider the checkout clerk who has one line building as the other clerk lallygags about, finally opening up their lane only to have back of the line people rushing over, when clerk could have controlled the patiently waiting, yet seething unfair customer situation by calling over the “next in line”!


2 weeks ago, my sons and I spent over 3 hours raking and shoveling leaves.  We have so many leaves we use snow shovels in a snowless winter that this has so sadly been in a traditionally snowy place.

We filled 6 contractor-sized black garbage sacks with leaves.  You would think we live in Vermont or Canada we had so many leaves, even when we only have 2 naked trees.

We live in a vortex of leaf collection due to the school field in front of our home, which funnels everything up our driveway from leaves to school yard candy wrappers, COVID masks, and even schoolwork.  In fact, Little Johnny, our neighbor, got a 5 out of 10 on his last spelling test.  I passed him in my car recently, rolled down my window, and told him “i before e except after c…most of the time.”   He looked at me with the kind of look that says, “How did he know?”

As I sat on my porch last week writing in my Journal about awareness of my life and actions, I watched my neighbors on both sides of our home (neighbors we love and whom we are so grateful are our friends), as they used a blower to move all of the leaves from their yards…into the street.  I noticed a Cheetos bag blowing from one, and an empty Gatorade bottle from the other, collected among the leaves.

Today I walked around my yard, only to find 3 more contractor-sized garbage bags worth of leaves to be filled in my once empty yard yet again…my trees barren for months on our property…and there mixed in a Cheetos bag and Gatorade bottle for my sons and I to pick up.  Out came the snow shovels as we spent an hour picking up leaves not from our trees or yard, but from the street and other people’s lack of bagging.

I’m sure I deserve this…perhaps I wasn’t aware of how much noise our family makes late at night playing games through quarantine while the neighbors are trying to put their kids to bed?


Are you making a mess for others in your work?

Are you cutting corners others will have to pick up?

Are you aware of what you’re doing, when you’ve skimmed the email and re-asking the question already carefully answered in an overly crafted message?

Are you thinking of others or only thinking of self? 

Are you able to catch everything every single time?  Not possible.  Sometimes there’s a fly in your hair and no one can hear your message; once in a while the dog will run in with a poopie tail; and yes, you may even relieve yourself on a broadcasted Zoom call.

But hopefully, as we fall under the all seeing eye of observation, be it social media, our work as performers, or in the community, we can be the kind of person who promises ourselves to think of others first, to point out when something is morally and ethically wrong, and stand for something when it is called for.

Mostly, to just be aware of the good we are creating or the mess for others we are causing.

That is The Promise. 

Here is Your Promise Prompt This Week:

Take note in your Journal or Calendar of 2 instances you were extremely aware each day –

1 time for SELF

1 time for OTHERS

Write out how it affected you and them, the outcome, the power of you keeping The Promise.  

Comment below what you did even for one day and I will send you a link to one of my video book chapters that no one has access to.



Posted On Tuesday, 09 February 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Monday, 08 February 2021 00:00 Written by

Agent Resource

How to capture your next prospect - click here

Realty Times

From buying and selling advice for consumers to money-making tips for Agents, our content, updated daily, has made Realty Times® a must-read, and see, for anyone involved in Real Estate.